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Master's program

Clinical Research, M.Sc.

Start of the program: 2018, March 18 (PPCR) 
Credit-points: 60
Degree: Master of Science
Tuition fees: 17,000.00 EUR (incl. fees for the PPCR program) / 8,500.00 EUR for PPCR-Graduates


Dipl.-Volksw. Simone Krautz

Tel:  0351 40470-121
Fax: 0351 40470-110

accredited by ZEvA

Our mission is to provide research training
The Dresden International University (DIU) Master’s Program in Clinical Research is designed to provide excellent training in the methodology and practice of clinical research and create an international platform for medical scientists that is strongly based on teamwork, creativity, out-of-the-box-thinking and multidisciplinary collaboration.

Becoming an outstanding researcher
Our program combines several highly effective ways to foster your career:

  • During the Master’s Program in Clinical Research you are also attending the Principles and Practice of Clinical Research (PPCR) course which is a collaborative distance-learning training program provided by Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA. All credit points and grades obtained during the PPCR course are directly translated into ECTS-credits that are used to receive a Master of Science degree upon graduation from our integrative two-years Master’s program. Thus we created a highly effecient integrative educational program during which students receive both, a PPCR course certificate from Harvard Medical School and the academic title Master of Science (MSc) from Dresden International University.
  • Students receive personalized intensive training in presenting themselves and their research in a competetive international environment. In fact, training of presenting skills including intensive mentoring in presenting clinical research data is one of our key components during the second year of the Master’s program.
  • We encourage our students to submit a research or review paper as Master’s thesis. Thus, you do not have to draft an actual 100-page long thesis to complete our program but can submit a DIU-supervised research project and get published instead. This creates an outstandingly beneficial situation where students improve their manuscript writing skills, enhance their publication track record, and avoid writing a regular thesis. (previous publications of our program)
  • Our program faculty includes leading reseaerchers from renown universities such as Technische Universität Dresden, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and the University of Oxford. Our lectureres do not just give teacher centered lectures but rather collaborate with you to generate new ideas and research questions, develop new thinking strategies and help you further develop your individual skills. This unique and very close and open relationship between students and teachers is also a mutually beneficial way of exchanging ideas and creating a strong professional network.

Integrative education and translation into research practice      
During the first year (Module 1-5) our students will attend the Principles and Practice of Clinical Research (PPCR) course.

  • The PPCR course is designed for those clinicians and scientists who wish to gain basic and advanced training in clinical studies and trials before moving into the field and for those who have already experience in this area, but aim to broaden their role in the design, management, analysis, and reporting of clinical research. The course uses leading-edge technology (h.323 IP video conferencing) to establish live two-way communication with the Boston conference room from where the lectures and discussions are broadcasted worldwide. Innovative and interactive learning tools such as wiki pages, forums and web blogs are used to enhance the learning process and to train critical thinking. Three intensive on-site workshops provide the unique opportunity to discuss clinical research methodology with Harvard faculty lecturers in practical exercises.
  • During year 2 (Module 6 and master’s thesis) students will work closely with DIU staff and lecturers in classes, workshops and during preparation of the master’s thesis. The goal is to translate previously learned knowledge into practice and help students with scientific presentation and writing.

The goal of the DIU Master in Clinical Research Program is to provide excellent knowledge and skills in both methodology and practical applications of clinical research. This is achieved using the principles of collaborative learning. Collaborative learning is an educational technique in which learners/students work together to solve a problem, complete a task or discuss an idea. This method is based on the notion that learning occurs naturally through social interactions, during the process of active communication. The process of gaining knowledge is dynamic, with a constant exchange of ideas between both student and teacher. This integrative setting of innovative web 2.0 based learning technology and collaborative learning methods provides an optimal environment for multi-modal interactive training in clinical research and creates a unique global network of clinical scientists to provide a platform for international research collaborations.

The Master’s Program in Clinical Research MPCR is a two-year part-time program which includes 6 separate modules extending over the first three semesters, followed by a Master's Thesis which has to be completed within the fourth semester.


  • Introduction to Clinical Trials 
  • Selection of the Question
  • Study Population
  • Basic Study Design
  • Ethical and Regulatory Issues
  • Study Blinding
  • The Randomization Process
  • Recruitment of Study Participants
  • Participant Adherence


  • Statistics – Basics
  • Statistical Tests I+II
  • Sample Size
  • Survival Analysis
  • Other Issues in Statistics I+II


  • Integrity in Research
  • The Business of Clinical Research
  • Being a Clinical and Translational Scientist: Practical Challenges and Recommendations 
  • Design and Analysis of Surveys
  • Assessing Risk and Adverse Effects bin Clinical Research
  • Phase III and Multicenter Trials
  • Manuscript Submission


  • International/Global Research
  • Special Panel: RCT vs. Observational Designs – How to choose?
  • Observational Studies
  • Confounders in Observational Studies: Using the Method of Propensity Score
  • Designs with Medical Devices and Interim Analysis
  • Non-Inferiority Designs


Review and discussion of material presented throughout the year in a detailed and intensive fashion.


  • Clinical Pharmacological Trials
  • Financial and Economic Aspects of Clinical Research

After finishing these modules students will complete their Master's Thesis on a topic in the field of Clinical Research supervised by lecturers of Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston and Dresden International University.

Program Directors


Ben Illigens, MD

Instructor in Neurology, Harvard Medical School
Director, German Sites Development
Principles and Practice of Clinical Research (PPCR)
Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital
Harvard Medical School


Timo Siepmann, MD

Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Visiting Scholar 2015-2016)
Cardiovascular Clinical Research Facility
University of Oxford
Research Physician
Department of Neurology University
Hospital Carl Gustav Carus
Local Site Director (Dresden)
Principles and Practice of Clinical Research
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Curriculum vitae

Teaching Staff

Our faculty and staff are internationally recognized for their teaching in clinical research; the majority of lecturers are faculty or junior faculty at Harvard Medical School and Dresden University of Technology.

Lecturers (excerpt)

  • Timo Siepmann, MD

  • Ben Illigens, MD

  • Marc Eisele
    Director Centre for Media Technology in Medicine
    Carl Gustav Carus University Hospital                                                                   
    Dresden University of Technology

  • Ingeborg Friehs, MD
    Instructor in Surgery Department of Cardiac Surgery
    Children's Hospital Boston
    Harvard Medical School

  • Martin Siepmann, MD
    Professor of Clinical Pharmacology
    Carl Gustav Carus University Hospital Dresden University of Technology
    Director Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy
    Rhoen Hospital Bad Neustadt

  • Bernhard Schipp, PhD
    Professor of Business and Economics
    Quantitative Methods, esp. Econometrics
    Technical University of Dresden

  • Alexandra Pintér, MD, PhD
    Assistant professor of physiology
    Institute of Human Physiology and Clinical Experimental Research
    Semmelweis University

PPCR lecturers (excerpt)

  • Felipe Fregni, MD, PhD, MPH
    Associate Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School
    Associate Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Harvard Medical School Course director, Principles and Practice of Clinical Research

  • Steven Freedman, MD, PhD
    Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School
    Director, Pancreas Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
    Chief, Translational Research, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Cente

  • Lotfi Merabet, OD, PhD
    Associate Director Visual Rehabilitation Center
    Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
    Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology
    Harvard Medical School

  • David Wypij, PhD
    Senior Lecturer on Biostatistics
    Harvard School of Public Health





Applicants to the Master’s Program in Clinical Research have to meet each of  the following admission requirements:

  • University’s degree (4 years)
  • Registration in the PPCR program offered by the Department of Continuing Education, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health or Certificate of the PPCR program
  • Tuition payable to DIU upon acceptance into the Master’s program (MPCR)
  • PPCR alumni will have to provide a Certificate of the PPCR program and apply directly to DIU for the 2nd year of the Master’s program

To applicants who have already graduated from the PPCR course, a reduced Master’s program tuition of Euro 8,500. applies. All PPCR alumni have to submit their complete PPCR grading together with their application. For questions regarding the application process send an e-mail to clinical.research@di-uni.de.

A list of orginal articles that have arisen from Master’s theses submitted by graduates of our program.
We closely supervise our Master’s students in drafting publications since it is one of our core missions to take research education from a theoretical to a practical level and help our students publish original research. To foster effectivenes and teamwork in clinical research we offer to our students the opportunity to submit a research paper instead of a traditional „regular“  Master’s thesis to receive the Master’s of Science degree. Thus our students receive maximal benefits from our program: thez optimize their skills in conducting research and drafting manuscripts and, in addition to this theoretical training, they are acutally getting published and thus improve their scientific career.

Nassir M, Guan J, Luketina H, Siepmann T, Rohr I, Richter R, Castillo-Tong DC, Zeillinger R, Vergote I, Van Nieuwenhuysen E, Concin N, Marth C, Hall C, Mahner S, Woelber L, Sehouli J, Braicu EI. The role of HE4 for prediction of recurrence in epithelial ovarian cancer patients-results from the OVCAD study. Tumour Biol. 2015 Sep 29. [Epub ahead of print]

Woopen H, Richter R, Chekerov R, Siepmann T, Ismaeel F, Sehouli J. The influence of comorbidity and comedication on grade III/IV toxicity and prior discontinuation of chemotherapy in recurrent ovarian cancer patients: An individual participant data meta-analysis of the North-Eastern German Society of Gynecological Oncology (NOGGO). 2015, doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2015.07.007. [Epub ahead of print]

Zerna C, Siepmann T, Barlinn K, Kepplinger J, Pallesen LP, Puetz V, Bodechtel U. Association of time on outcome after intravenous thrombolysis in the elderly in a telestroke network. J Telemed Telecare. 2015 May 29. pii: 1357633X15585241. [Epub ahead of print]

Seidlitz A, Siepmann T, Löck S, Juratli T, Baumann M, Krause M. Impact of waiting time after surgery and overall time of postoperative radiochemotherapy on treatment outcome in glioblastoma multiforme. Radiat Oncol. 2015 Aug 16;10:172.

Lohkamp LN, Öllinger R, Chatzigeorgiou A, Illigens BM, Siepmann T. Intraoperative biomarkers in renal transplantation. Nephrology (Carlton). 2015 Jul 1. doi: 10.1111/nep.12556. [Epub ahead of print]

Kepplinger J, Prakapenia A, Barlinn K, Siegert G, Gehrisch S, Zerna C, Beyer-Westendorf J, Puetz V, Reichmann H, Siepmann T, Bodechtel U. Standardized use of novel oral anticoagulants plasma level thresholds in a new thrombolysis decision making protocol. J Thromb Thrombolysis. 2015 May 23. [Epub ahead of print]

Barlinn K, Kepplinger J, Puetz V, Illigens BM, Bodechtel U, Siepmann T. Exploring the risk-factor association between depression and incident stroke: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2015,11:1-14


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